Just in Case You Think the Banks Will Ever Start Dealing Fairly With Mortgage Mods …

… think again!

Nearly three years ago, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was filmed by ABC News getting the run-around while trying to help her constituents negotiate with their banks to restructure their mortgage loans.

Here’s the story, which aired on Nightline in January 2009. It certainly shows that nothing much has changed since then …

I initiated my ongoing quest for a mortgage loan modification in March 2010 and what Rep. Waters went through looks absolutely familiar to me. Wells Fargo strung me along for seven months before denying me both for HAMP and for their “in-house” mortgage mods. And they’ve been playing similar games ever since, both with me and with my legal counsel.

Waters was one of many members of Congress who appealed directly to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in 2011 for specific changes to HAMP, including adding an independent review process for homeowners denied modifications under the program. Of course, that hasn’t happened, as I well know from my experiences of having Wells Fargo fabricate both income and expense figures during at least two of my HAMP reviews.

So … if you’re playing the delay game with your bank while not paying your mortgage so you can save up some $$ to re-settle, more power to ya.

But if you’re hanging on, depleting your savings scraping up money to keep paying while waiting for the Obama administration, regulators, Congress, Treasury or the attorneys general to take some real action to make the banks start dealing with homeowners in good faith … you might want to consider that nothing much substantive has been done to benefit average Americans in the past three years while millions of good, honest, hard-working people lost their homes.

“… if you have a set of rules for which compliance is completely voluntary and no meaningful consequences for those who violate them, having all the audits and reviews in the world are not going to make a bit of difference. It’s why the program has been a colossal failure.”   
~Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the bank bailout that provided the money for HAMP

I hope you will make the best choices for yourself and your family and won’t get bogged down in false hopes and “should-have-beens.” Certainly nothing is going to change on the political front until after the 2012 election. (And it’s unlikely it’ll change for the better afterward, either, regardless whether the current impotent administration comes back or one of the GOP’s seemingly endless supply of wingnuts wins.)